Visalia, CA- The Quakes took care of business on the road in Visalia locking up a 2-0 Championship Series lead, as Cody Thomas highlighted a 9-3 victory with a go-ahead grand slam at Recreation Park on Wednesday night.
Despite a sluggish start for the second straight night, Thomas's blast sparked the offense to nine runs over a three-inning span.
After striking out eight across 3.2 shutout innings, Visalia starter Matt Peacock was forced out of the game due to injury, allowing Rancho to break through against the bullpen in the fifth inning.
Cole Bartlett (0-1) issued a leadoff walk to Nick Yarnall and the defense scuffled with a pair of fielding errors to load the bases for Cody Thomas. Trailing 1-0, Thomas smashed the go-ahead grand slam to left-center field to put the Quakes in front 4-1.
Cristian Santana followed in the sixth with a lead off double and came home on a double play ball to make it 5-1. The contest was put out of reach in the seventh as Rancho piled on four more runs with a Connor Wong double and a Santana three-run home run to make it 9-1.
On the mound for the Quakes Dennis Santana opened the game on Major League rehab from the Dodgers. The right-hander struck out three over two innings but surrendered a solo home run to Jazz Chisholm in the first.
Wills Montgomerie (1-0) tossed 2.2 scoreless innings behind Santana and was positioned for the win with the Thomas slam. Logan Salow and Connor Strain combined for 3.1 shutout frames and Austin Hamilton closed the game in the ninth. Visalia scratched across a pair of late runs against Hamilton with and RBI-single and fielders choice to cap the game at 9-3.
The Quakes will be off on Thursday and return to Rancho Cucamonga with a 2-0 series lead with a chance to clinch on Friday, September 14th. Rancho will sent RHP Isaac Anderson (0-0) to the mound and Visalia will counter with RHP Connor Grey (0-0). First pitch is at 7:05 PM and tickets are available online at rcquakes.com or by calling (909) 481-5000. Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.